10 Non Medication Tools to help with Focus

As I have shared I have ADHD. I have talked about how stimulants just don’t work for me due to side effects. So I am currently unmedicated.  So how have I been managing my ADHD.  Well 1. I really need to find a psychiatrist ( mine moved), because I definitely still needs some type of medication, but  there are also non medication ways to help with ADHD

  1. Using timers and conversely giving yourself breaks. 

We think about this a lot for children, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  If you have a task to complete  , break it into chunks. For example : If you need to clean your room and you think it will take an hour. Set a timer for 10 minutes and give yourself a 2 minute break

  1. Exercise 

Exercise helps blood flow to the brain , thus it helps with focus 

  1. Small pieces of candy 

This was one of the tricks I used during board exams . (which is an 8 hour long test minimum).  I would take a break every so often and eat a small piece of candy . A tootsie roll a hard candy or something like that . Research has shown the small “sugar rush” can help with focus. 

  1. List 

Don’t underestimate the power of a list , either by paper or you can use apps like TODO. some apps even link with alexa or google 

  1. Accountability Partners 

I do this in a variety of ways. I may ask people to check in on me to make sure I am doing something. I sometimes utilize facebook for this . I may use a zoom meeting to just work in tandem with someone . This is actually how I work best. 

  1. Naps 

If you get to a point where you are tired and can’t focus. A quick nap can help recharge you 

  1. Making hyperfocus work for you

Those of us with ADHD usually have spurts of what we call hyperfocus . This is a period of time where we can suddenly get all types of things done. Especially if it is something we enjoy. Use that time to slip in a couple of needed assignments that may not be as enjoyable. 

  1. Visual or written schedules 

I recommend this a lot . There are many visual schedule resources on the web with a quick search. 

  1. Calendars, Planners, Alarms 

If you can’t hire a personal assistant (which most of us can’t , including me lol), this is the next best thing. Some people do better with paper vs electronic. Alarms can be used for meetings, taking meds, reminders, etc. Lots of Apps help with too. Find a system that works for you and stick to it!

  1.  Using notecards 

This is literally what got me through high school and college. I used notecards to study. I could not just read the material and absorb it. I needed it in question/ answer format for me to retain the information. 

Again this is a quick, non all inclusive list of non medication easy to help control ADHD. Do you use something not on the list? Tell us below! What works for you?

-Loucresie Rupert MD